. . . . has been an unusual one here in our part of the world. All kinds of old records have fallen en masse, – or at least that is the impression we get from everyone who talks about it in the media and elsewhere. It is also the impression we get from experiencing it personally, – to the extent that we might almost be tempted to misquote some state leaders and name it “the Mother of All Winters”, or perhaps “The Winter to End All Winters”.
We would not wish the last quotation to come true, though, – not really. We have to be responsible and consider the polar bears, of course. But other than that, one might be tempted, especially as the only sign of it ever ending, is the date and month on the calendar. And then I can almost hear in my mind The Winter snorting: “Calendar? What is that? Never heard of it, – not this year, anyway.”
Luckily, as January was on its coldest, and everyone scrambled to post photos of their digital thermometers showing record low temperatures, we had our trusty, level headed, meteorologists appearing on television and telling us that: “Oh, this is really nothing to be excited about, – it is just a good old winter like we had back in the fifties and sixties”.
I was very relieved to hear that, as it confirmed that my memory is perhaps not as bad as I have suspected it to be in recent years. I thought I remembered that we had lots of snow when I was a child, that we were skiing, tobogganing, kicksledding, and skating for months on end, that the ridges of snow along the side of the road were taller than me, (of course, that could also be due to the fact that I was not very tall myself when I was 4 or 5), and that it took all of the month of May and the best part of June for the roads to dry up after the snow had melted.
However, on hearing this, my youngest daughter gently reminded me: ” – lots of people do not remember the sixties, let alone the fifties, – some of us were not even born till long after the sixties.”
She is right, of course, – so at least half the population have a genuine right to be excited about personal lowest temperatures, personal deepest snow, etc. And this winter has been lacking in neither.
Of course, it has also been very beautiful, and the weather has been very nice a lot of the time, – nice meaning a clear sky, cold, and just a little wind, if any. Almost no wind is a rarity in itself in these parts of the country, especially for the winter months.
The usual thing here on the west coast is for the snow to fall, then there is rain to wash it away, or partly away, – some cold to freeze the remains, if any, into ice, - new snow, then the rain, …. and so on, – along with a lot of strong winds, of course. Another variety that we have had quite often in recent years, is rain, rain, and rain, – and storms, – all through December, January, and February, and then one or two huge snowfalls in March.
People usually sigh and keep saying: “If only the snow could stay put once it has come down, and we have finished shovelling it!” (And some also wish it would come readily shoveled).
Well, this winter it did stay, – even if it had to be shoveled first.
We had one huge snowfall just after Christmas…
… which was not washed away by rain, – just sunk and evaporated, but not quite:
Then another quite large snowfall in February, – to top it up again:
And in between, the sun has been shining a lot.
The ground has not been clear of snow for nearly three months now, and that is very rare around here. People are now getting very tired of winter, – I am getting very tired of winter, – and we all long for the spring to come.
It is nowhere to be seen, however, – especially not today when a new snow storm hit us and we could barely look out of the windows:
While we are waiting, I plan to dump some more winter stuff on my blog here. Then, if we have a heat wave this summer (and that is a big IF since there has been little rain for the past four months, and it has to come down at some time), I can look back and count myself lucky that I do not need a roaring fire to keep me warm.